Wednesday, 10 April 2013

German Art & Culture

Art & Culture

The Dresden State Art Collections are among the most prominent museums in the world. Altogether twelve institutions offer a thematic diversity that knows no comparison.
These museums originated in the collection of the Saxon lectors and Polish kings. August the Strong and his son August III were important patrons and remarkable connoisseurs of the arts. Their systematically developed cabinets of curiosities, accessible to select circles event back then, still form the core of the Dresden State Art Collections' wonderful art treasures today. With the return of several museums to Dresden Palace in 2004, the State Art Collections are carrying on the glorious tradition and filling the Residence of Art and Science with new life in the process.

Green Vault
The Green Vault is the most magnificent Treasury Museum in Europe. It owes its existence to Augustus the Strong, who combined his rich collection of precious objects and jewels with inherited masterpieces from the Renaissance and the Baroque. Exquisite examples of the goldsmith's art, masterpieces of amber, ivory, precious-stone vessels and elaborate bronze pieces, and especially the creations of the court artists Permoser and Dinglinger make the Green Vault an impressive and incomparable art collection.

Sculpture Collection
On display are works from the extensive sculpture collection from the early cultures of Egypt to the present. In the Renaissance columned hall of the Albertinum, sculptures from classical antiquity are on show, many of which Augustus the Strong acquired in 1728 from Rome. Another room on the ground floor presents treasures of Renaissance and Baroque sculpture. Sculpture from 1790 to the present can be seen in the Modern Masters Picture Gallery.

Porcelain Collection
The porcelain collection was establish at the beginning of 18th century by Augustus the Strong, who had envisaged displaying it in the Japanese Palace. Amongst its 20,000 pieces the collection contains some of the most significant and outstanding examples of Chinese, Japanese and early Meissen porcelain in the world. By historically recreating the intended wall arrangements, the presentation of the collection in the Zwinger today brilliantly sets off the individual pieces.

Coin Cabinet
With holdings of more than 280,000 objects, the Dresden Coin Cabinet is a universal collection of European standing. In addition to coins and medals of all periods and places, it comprises decorations, banknotes, historical bonds, coin and medal dies, seals, models, and devices used in coin manufacture. The origins of the collection date back to Duke George the Bearded (1500-1539).

With its origins in the Wettin elector's 'Kunstkammer' founded in 1560, the Dresden Armory is amongst the most precious collections of parade weapons and costumes in the world. Over 1300 exhibits portray the pageantry of the Dresden court, as well as its ceremonious festivities, tournaments and hunting. The exhibition brings together masterpieces by armourers, artists and craftsmen from Europe and the Orient.

Museum of Arts & Crafts
Founded in 1876, the Arts and Crafts Museum displays a selection of its treasures from the Gothic to the present in the Schloss Pillnitz. The main emphasis of the museum is its collection of furniture, silver, glassware and majolica of the Saxon court, as well as comprehensive collections of ceramics, glass, textiles and pewter. It also documents the development of arts and crafts from historicism to Jugendstil, to the "Deutsche Werkbund" right up to contemporary design.

Mathematics-Physics Salon
The Mathematics-Physics Salon is a specialized museum dedicated to clocks and scientific instrument from the 16th to the 19th centuries. The origins of the collection date back to the 'Kunstkammer' founded in 1560. Amongst the most significant pieces in the museum are an Arabian celestial globe from 1300, a Blaise Pascal adding-machine from around 1650 and a planetarium clock commissioned for the Dresdner court in about 1560.

Museum of Saxon Folk Art
This museum, founded in 1897 by the Association of Saxon Folklore, has been housed in the historical Hunter's Lodge in Dresden-Neustadt since 1913. It displays examples of the rich folk culture from all rural areas of Saxony. It is famous for its collections of rustic furniture, traditional costumes, and toys, as well as for its Erzgebirge woodcarvings and Christmas cribs. The museum also includes a Puppet Theatre Collection, whose items are currently on display in the Hohenhaus in Radebeul.

Old Masters Picture Gallery
One of the most significant collections of paintings in the world, the gallery in the Semper building houses an abundance of works from the 16th to the 18th centuries. Italian art is represented by masterpieces by Raphael, Giorgione, and other painters of the Renaissance and Baroque periods. An extensive collection of works from the 17th-century Flemish and Dutch schools by artists such as Rubens, Rembrandt and Vermeer forms the collection's second main emphasis. Displaying over 760 paintings, the gallery's other treasures include outstanding works by French, Spanish and German artists.

Modern Masters Picture Gallery
Major works of German Romantic art, pasticularly by Caspar David Friedrich, Carl Gustav Carus and Ludwig Richter, have gained the collection internal prestige. Outstanding, too, are the examples of German Impressionist paintings, especially those of Slevogt and Corinth. French painters, such as Manet and Gauguin, are represented with important single works. Otto Dir's famous War Triptych is a testament to early 20th century German art and history. The collection today is expanding with new acquisitions of works mainly by contemporary artists.

Collection of Prints and Drawings
Dresden's collection of Prints and Drawings is a museum for works of art on paper and photographs. The collection spans from the 15th century right up to the present. Established in 1720, the museum belongs to the oldest collections of graphic art and is also one of the most famous institutions of its kind in the world.